1s Woes at Warl
By Paul Harrington
The Petersfield battle bus took to the M25 on Saturday as the 1st XV headed towards Croydon and the penultimate game of the season against Surrey side, Warlingham.
With relegation confirmed, Field have only pride to play for and perhaps a goal of avoiding the very bottom of the table, currently the berth of the team that Field beat last week; Teddington.
When the sides met at Penns Place at the start of December, Field put in gutsy performance to pip Warlingham by 17-14 in wet and windy conditions. The reverse fixture was, perhaps appropriately, diametrically opposed with a warm spring day, a dry track underfoot and a big defeat for the visitors.
Field began the day on the backfoot before the kick-off whistle sounded, as the squad arrived at Warlingham a man light. Field’s well publicised manpower problems meant that the squad featured only eight of the team that had achieved the memorable win at the end of last year. The Colts and 2nd XV players who were asked to step up performed admirably, giving their all in the service of their Club but, ultimately, Field were effectively outgunned around the pitch.
As the score suggests, Warlingham were comfortable winners in the end but the visitors had their moments only to be let down by a lack of accuracy in completion. The red team did cross the whitewash at the very end of the game after a barnstorming five minutes in their hosts 22 that had the home side conceding a hatful of penalties. Unfortunately, Field’s Captain and inside centre, Matt Momber, was ruled in touch by the Warlingham linesman and the game ended with the hosts maintaining a clean sheet.
Despite the defeat, Field’s youngsters were on great form with Will Mathews impressing at fullback in his first 1st XV outing, while fellow backs Olly Pope and Jim Tribe (by now relative old hands in the squad) and Lock, Tom Potter, continue to show great promise for the future.
Field have just one match remaining in this era of London leagues rugby, a home match next weekend against Portsmouth; the team that Field perhaps should have beaten in their first game of the 2018/19 season. The match kicks off at 3pm, so come on down and make some noise for the boys!